In a weekend of limited senior rugby the juniors stole the show. On Saturday the 2nd XV battled hard yet lost out to TJs. On Sunday the Under 14s had two massive wins, versus Aylesford As (at home) and Medway As (away). And it's official; there's no stopping the Under 12s. They made it three Cup wins on the trot by taking the trophy at Ealing, beating their Kent Cup nemesis Aylesford into the bargain in the Final.
Senior Rugby Saturday 24 October
- 1st XV: Ashford, 1pm KO, Knole Paddock
- 2nd XV: Canterbury, 1pm KO, Away
NB Unfortunately the planned 3rd XV fixture versus Ash at the Paddock was scratched by the visitors.
Taking the game to local schools
Watch this space for a report on the mini Rugby World Cup for local state school children over the past four weeks. Local schools battled it out on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 October. Well done Wilko and team, plus our own Tom Swallow, for putting on such a top schedule.
Six Nations Tickets
With RWC2015 in full swing, the Six Nations seems a long way off but it will be here before we know it. Go to the news section of the website for the application form to our Club ballot for tickets, which is open to members only. This could be seen as an incentive to pay your subs if not already... more on that next week and if you need more information about online membership please contact Nick Wilkinson (email@example.com)
Tom May on the mental game, 3 November
Sevenoaks Rugby is proud to be sponsored by Sevenoaks School and is delighted to share an exclusive invitation from the School with members, supporters and friends. The Mental Edge in Sport is led by guest speaker Tom May, former London Welsh Captain and England Rugby Union International and of course Sevenoaks Rugby star. The event takes place at The Sennocke Centre, Sevenoaks School on Tuesday 3 November, commencing with welcome drinks at 7.30pm. For further information and RSVP, email Beth Nicholson: firstname.lastname@example.org
RWC2003 versus RWC2015... Robert Horner reflects
Our very own Robert Horner, President of the Rugby Football Union Season 2003/4 and Sevenoaks RFC ever present, led the RFU the only time (still!) that a northern hemisphere team has won the Rugby World Cup, when the red rose proudly returned from Australia with the William Webb Ellis Cup in 2003. Here Robert shares with us, in an exclusive update, his thoughts and reflections as RWC2015 approaches its denouement
"The progress of Rugby World Cup 2015 has inevitably caused me to think back to the unique and wonderful experience which I enjoyed in 2003...
"On the field, the major difference is that 12 years ago, England won all their World Cup matches! In their pool were two “minnows”, Georgia and Uruguay, against whom England registered 84 and 111 points respectively; both of these countries have improved notably in the intervening period, with Georgia, whom Uruguay defeated 24-12 in 2003, having made the most progress. Indeed, one of the features of the past five weeks is the marked improvement of so-called “second-tier” Nations, resulting in many more truly competitive matches, and the boost to the tournament given by Japan’s toppling of the Springboks.
"England’s other two pool opponents 12 years ago were South Africa and Samoa. Having defeated South Africa comfortably in Perth, with a splendid second half performance featuring an outstanding try from Will Greenwood, England contrived to have a worryingly stuttering performance against Samoa in Melbourne a week later in a match during which they contrived to have 16 men on the field and playing for some 41 seconds. In the end, England’s superior fitness saw them through, but they had been less than convincing.
"England’s Quarter-Final against Wales in Brisbane saw them trailing 3-10 at half-time, although on this occasion, England’s discipline held firm while that of Wales went awry, enabling Saint Jonny to slot six penalties, as well as a drop goal and the conversion of Will Greenwood’s try.
"The final score of 28-17 looks quite comfortable in the record books, but in reality it was a scary evening. Thereafter, our national side were never in doubt against France in the semi-final, while the Final itself remains glorious history. Many, however, forget that during the campaign, progress was far from serene at all times.
"Off the field, again there are both similarities and differences. It was universally forecast that England would deliver the best World Cup ever, and it would seem that the detailed planning of the past four years has resulted in excellent arrangements for the staging of the matches. In particular, the creation of the FanZones, both at the grounds themselves and also nearby (e.g. Brighton beach), has been a great success. In Australia in 2003, the supporters of the various teams found their own venues for social interface, but it was more haphazard, although in the final week, the whole of central Sydney became an unofficial FanZone. Two days before the opening match, Sydney gave the Tournament a memorable pre-send off, with a lights display, coupled with fireworks, on the iconic Harbour Bridge, which promoted the tournament throughout its six weeks.
"For me, an unpleasant and needless innovation this year has been the so-called pre-match entertainment for half an hour before kick-off, with some loudmouth on a microphone seeking to gee-up the crowd and conduct naff interviews.
"Perhaps the most striking difference has been the increase in ticket prices, especially for the latter stages of the tournament, although to charge in excess of £250 for a seat in Manchester for the England v Uruguay pool match was eye-watering. The RFU’s commitment to deliver £80,000,000 to World Rugby is given as the reason. Rumour has it that for the 2023 RWC, World Rugby will be seeking a guarantee of £120,000,000, a depressingly staggering thought!" Robert Horner, October 2015
There you go; a splendidly honest report. Your editor for one has been impressed by the quality of the matches. It is apparent that the success of any future Rugby World Cup relies on the strength of the grass roots game, supported and developed week in, week out on paddocks up and down the country, not least Knole Paddock, by one community of rugby.
Yours in rugby
Sevenoaks Rugby Club